GameStop Wants to Sell Used Digital Games

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GameStop Wants to Sell Used Digital Games

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The world's largest gaming retailer is researching "technologies" to create a secondhand digital market.

Love it or hate it, GameStop is a massive retailer in the gaming industry. The fact that the chain makes most of its money on used games hasn't made publishers too happy, and many of them have gone through lengths to discourage used sales of their games, like instituting Online Passes or focusing on the digital market. However, even digital games may not be safe for long; the retailer is looking at ways to incorporate used digital sales into its business.

According to GameStop CEO Paul Raines, the retailer is considering "some technologies out there in Europe" that would allow them to create a used games market. Raines didn't elaborate on what these "technologies" were, but noted that "a few companies, a few startups" were already using them. This isn't the first time GameStop has ventured into digital game sales; the retailer recently partnered with Valve to sell Steam Wallet codes in stores.

Raines said that the company was not seeing used digital sales as a "meaningful business" just yet, so don't expect to walk into GameStop tomorrow and trade in your XBLA games for some cash. As digital games become a bigger part of the industry, it's not surprising that GameStop would try to expand their business to keep up. Considering that the retailer is already seen as a villain by publishers, developers, and even some gamers, this news is sure to ruffle a few feathers.

Source: GameSpot via Destructoid

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This will only work it Europe. Until the American legal system says that it is ok and allowed to sell your digital copies of games it will never happen. Hopefully GameStop spends all their money on this and they go bankrupt.

Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it.

What?

But...how would you...what would make it...why would you...what would be the point of...

What?!

The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies? When buying a physical game used the buyer understands that it has been used before and may come with issues due to that fact (scratched disk, missing instruction booklet, standard wear and tear, etc.). How does this translate into the digital market?

How on earth did anyone even come up with the idea in the first place?

Fappy:
The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies? When buying a physical game used the buyer understands that it has been used before and may come with issues due to that fact (scratched disk, missing instruction booklet, standard wear and tear, etc.). How does this translate into the digital market?

Now that is an interesting point. So are they going to charge near to full price for used digital? Now where would be the logic in that, lets just wait for official sale. So are they going to charge fraction of original price? Now where did it loose it's value?

Fappy:
The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies? When buying a physical game used the buyer understands that it has been used before and may come with issues due to that fact (scratched disk, missing instruction booklet, standard wear and tear, etc.). How does this translate into the digital market?

It doesn't. Which is why, as said in the first reply, gamestop should spend all their money on this and go bankrupt. I guess maybe you could get corrupted files through data transfer, in which case your game would be unplayable. Gamestop would then have to also support massive storage servers too. Since they're such money grubbers I doubt they will keep researching once they figure that out.

Yeah, I'm in the 'what?' camp. With a physical game I might spring for the new version because I know it will be in top quality with no modifications. With digital games? What possible wear and tear is there? Why would there be any reason to ever buy a 'new' digital game if a 'used' digital game exists? If the 'used' version is cheaper, why would you buy anything else?

And then I remember that Gamestop gets 100% of used game sale. So all they need to do is get this passed and then stop giving any of the retailers any money ever for digital sales. That sounds like a pretty good deal for them.

the only absolute issue with this is proof of sale. short trip to follow: I purchase a game through say Good Old Games, and then I don't want it anymore, and then I wish to sell it to Game Stop. they pay me money, but wait a minute I can still have a copy on my computer, and essentially I didn't sell anything, but the right for Game Stop to sell a copy of the game.

then we also have the problem of setting up a pricing system for used digital games. technically there is no depreciation in value that comes from opening the box, or using the validation code that came in the case, so essentially there should be no difference in price to purchase (granted the reduced value for the store to buy is not that difficult to still understand) a new, or used digital game.

then we also have the consideration of the absolute model When Game Stop buys a copy of a game from the distributor they pay an amount of money to get a disk/case/box what not, and then they sell that copy, and they have one less copy in inventory. Then the other half being when a person sells them a copy of the game they pay an amount of money to get that physical thing, and they can then sell it, and still be one less physical thing. in the digital world it doesn't work like that when steam sells you a game they give you an installer (which they can give out an infinite amount of hence unlimited installs), and so Steam has an infinite amount of digital copies that they can sell, and realistically steam could get away with giving most every AAA title they carry for free, and just share add revenue, and they are still in real good numbers. So Game Stop buys your digital game from you. ok what have they purchased, and now how many times can they sell that installer that you just gave them. without proper oversight that's not piracy that's worse that's copyright infringement.

Well greenmangaming.com is still around and they allow you to sell back your digital purchases, so... I guess it could work.

Fappy:
The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies? When buying a physical game used the buyer understands that it has been used before and may come with issues due to that fact (scratched disk, missing instruction booklet, standard wear and tear, etc.). How does this translate into the digital market?

You get the product another person owned before. It's that simple.

Sushewakka:

Fappy:
The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies? When buying a physical game used the buyer understands that it has been used before and may come with issues due to that fact (scratched disk, missing instruction booklet, standard wear and tear, etc.). How does this translate into the digital market?

You get the license another person owned before. It's simple.

How is it worth less than a new license though? When and why would it lose value?

This is nearing the land of insanity, gamestop please stop, this makes no sense

no... no no no no no. this used sales BS is half the reason the games cost so damn much. i mean, why you think pc games are like a 2 3rds of the price of their console counterparts?

fuck right off gamestop. not to mention you would probably go to court for cheating at fair market. youre taking a product, the EXACT SAME PRODUCT, THAT YOU DID NOT MAKE, and selling it cheaper. no. used games have the fact that they wear out, the value of it wears out, its physically provable, and physically passable from one user to the other, so youre allowed to resell them on that basis. what youre gonna do, is take cd keys and sell them half price, with none of the spending put into making that game, and cheat your way to fortune. you know there are people criminally charged nowadays for selling cd keys right? fuck right off, you leeches.

Fappy:

Sushewakka:

Fappy:
The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies? When buying a physical game used the buyer understands that it has been used before and may come with issues due to that fact (scratched disk, missing instruction booklet, standard wear and tear, etc.). How does this translate into the digital market?

You get the license another person owned before. It's simple.

How is it worth less than a new license though? When and why would it lose value?

Time. It was not available at release, nor for a given period after.
As the saying goes: "Time is money, friend!"

robert01:
This will only work it Europe. Until the American legal system says that it is ok and allowed to sell your digital copies of games it will never happen. Hopefully GameStop spends all their money on this and they go bankrupt.

What kind of anti-consumer BS are you spewing? It isn't illegal to sell used digital games here in the US. Your statement is wrong.

Until the US legal system rules it illegal to resale digital games, it's legal. Just as it's legal for you to type anti-consumer BS because there is no ruling against it.

Fappy:
The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies? When buying a physical game used the buyer understands that it has been used before and may come with issues due to that fact (scratched disk, missing instruction booklet, standard wear and tear, etc.). How does this translate into the digital market?

With digital games, the new buyer never had the manual or the case in the first place so all that really matters is the game itself and Gamestop guarantees that the disc will work fine. I don't see any difference.

Just keep thinking-up ways to screw-over those poor hardworking publishers, don't you GameStop?

Sushewakka:

Fappy:

Sushewakka:

You get the license another person owned before. It's simple.

How is it worth less than a new license though? When and why would it lose value?

Time. It was not available at release, nor for a given period after.
As the saying goes: "Time is money, friend!"

But wouldn't that imply new licenses of the game would also lose the same amount of value? Why does it matter if the license was pre-owned if you are getting it in the same time frame?

Crono1973:

robert01:
This will only work it Europe. Until the American legal system says that it is ok and allowed to sell your digital copies of games it will never happen. Hopefully GameStop spends all their money on this and they go bankrupt.

What kind of anti-consumer BS are you spewing? It isn't illegal to sell used digital games here in the US. Your statement is wrong.

Until the US legal system rules it illegal to resale digital games, it's legal. Just as it's legal for you type anti-consumer BS because there is no ruling against it.

For some unkown reason, the USA allows EULA to override basic consumer rights, which is what the UE ruling prevents them from doing. Basically, in the UE, the EULA is non-binding, because once money exchanged hands, it's a sale, and you can't force a contract on the buyer afterwards (which is what the EULA does, and therefore lacks validity under UE laws). The USA allows this override, however. Unless I'm misinformed.

Fappy:
But wouldn't that imply new licenses of the game would also lose the same amount of value? Why does it matter if the license was pre-owned if you are getting it in the same time frame?

But original licenses were available earlier. That's the difference. That they're both available after a point does not cancel the fact that one was available earlier.

Sushewakka:

Crono1973:

robert01:
This will only work it Europe. Until the American legal system says that it is ok and allowed to sell your digital copies of games it will never happen. Hopefully GameStop spends all their money on this and they go bankrupt.

What kind of anti-consumer BS are you spewing? It isn't illegal to sell used digital games here in the US. Your statement is wrong.

Until the US legal system rules it illegal to resale digital games, it's legal. Just as it's legal for you type anti-consumer BS because there is no ruling against it.

For some unkown reason, the USA allows EULA to override basic consumer rights, which is what the UE ruling prevents them from doing. Basically, in the UE, the EULA is non-binding, because once money exchanged hands, it's a sale, and you can't force a contract on the buyer afterwards (which is what the EULA does, and therefore lacks validity under UE laws). The USA allows this override, however. Unless I'm misinformed.

You are misinformed. Each EULA is different and there is no law that allows every EULA to be legally binding.

The only thing stopping people from reselling digital games is the DRM, not the law. If Gamestop can find a way around the DRM then maybe they can pull this off. After all, there is the First Sale Doctrine.

Sushewakka:
But original licenses were available earlier. That's the difference. That they're both available after a point does not cancel the fact that one was available earlier.

Uh. No. That's not a difference. That's like saying that an iPhone made today should cost less than one than was made last week because the one made last week has been around longer. If you have two identical products being sold at exactly the same time, logically they should cost the same amount of money. Have you ever been to a store where the shirts were sorted by how recently they were made with the most recent ones being the cheapest?

If you could swap the labels on them and nobody would be able to tell the difference, it's the same product. With used digital products you could literally switch the 'used' and 'new' licenses around and the customer would be completely unable to tell the difference.

If the same store offers the same product at two different prices, only one of those prices points is ever going to be used. And unlike physical copies, there's no risk of breakage or damage, so if the used copy is cheaper by even 1, it's a better deal.

So the end result is that if this goes through, Gamestop can potentially sell new digital copies for say $19.99 and used copies for $19.98 and every single possible used copy would still sell first. (assuming customers are not retarded) Given that they make a percentage of the profit on the $19.99 purchase, and ALL the profit on the $19.98 purchase, I think there's something wrong.

PureIrony:
What?

But...how would you...what would make it...why would you...what would be the point of...

What?!

Seriously.

How would this even work? I buy a digital game and then... you buy it off of me when I get tired of it? But... how? Why? What's the difference between a regular digital game and a "used" digital game? I don't understand!

Someone with lower IQ than me please explain this to me. My intelligence is holding me back this time.

Sushewakka:
You get the product another person owned before. It's that simple.

I'm aware of what "used" means, but why in the hell does anyone need this? A digital copy is a digital copy, why would one be less expensive? It costs exactly the same for GameStop, unless I'm simply not understanding this right.

This is a joke, right?

Ok... you do understand that you can produce the platform for used digital games, but you cannot really be entitled for facilitating that the same as a physical space, right? Because there is no such thing as a used digital copy... its just another digital copy. So how do you propose to offer distinction at the lower price for a used digital copy when there is no distinction? If you sell it for the same price, it doesnt matter if you call it new or used. If you sell it for a lower cost given there is no actual item, just endlessly new generated copies how do you get out of submitting the proper levels of payment to the copywrite holders?

There is no deterioration. So the only thing you can viably do is somewhat like what Steam already does with game inventory and allowing games to be traded as items between individuals and simply be the facilitator of license transfers. But you cannot turn it into a business model because there is no legitimate way you can claim all the profit for selling a "used" copy when its really just another copy.

Normally I am very anti steam and I have defended game stop many times over. But as the headline reads, Gamestop wants to sell used digital games. When in actuality in this case, Gamestop wants to keep the profit generated from the sale of digital games and only pay the publishers an arbitrary amount of times for each item sold.

Well I guess that makes sense. It would basically be legalized piracy, and if Steam can make a business model out of it, It stands to reason gamestop would want to too.

The difference is that Steam sends a hefty percentage (70%?) to the publishers. Game Stop used games don't.

I was joking with a friend during the Steam sale that they must have extra hard drives full of Saints Row: The Third in boxes since it kept going on sale. I didn't think anybody would actually try to treat digital games as though they worked like that.

MetallicaRulez0:

PureIrony:
What?

But...how would you...what would make it...why would you...what would be the point of...

What?!

Seriously.

How would this even work? I buy a digital game and then... you buy it off of me when I get tired of it? But... how? Why? What's the difference between a regular digital game and a "used" digital game? I don't understand!

Someone with lower IQ than me please explain this to me. My intelligence is holding me back this time.

Sushewakka:
You get the product another person owned before. It's that simple.

I'm aware of what "used" means, but why in the hell does anyone need this? A digital copy is a digital copy, why would one be less expensive? It costs exactly the same for GameStop, unless I'm simply not understanding this right.

They'll probably just have a set of games be discounted, call them "used", and do it that way. With a set amount of digital units they can sell based on how many have been traded in.

Basically, it seems to just be a way to sell to more people. You can sell the games full-price to people who buy full price, and you can sell not full-price to people who don't/can't afford it/are cheap bastards.

That's how I'd do it at least, if I was this crazy.

I bet within 20 min of this service launching someone figures out how to dupe the system and sell 2000 copies of the same game. Serves GameStop right.

Irridium:

MetallicaRulez0:

PureIrony:
What?

But...how would you...what would make it...why would you...what would be the point of...

What?!

Seriously.

How would this even work? I buy a digital game and then... you buy it off of me when I get tired of it? But... how? Why? What's the difference between a regular digital game and a "used" digital game? I don't understand!

Someone with lower IQ than me please explain this to me. My intelligence is holding me back this time.

Sushewakka:
You get the product another person owned before. It's that simple.

I'm aware of what "used" means, but why in the hell does anyone need this? A digital copy is a digital copy, why would one be less expensive? It costs exactly the same for GameStop, unless I'm simply not understanding this right.

They'll probably just have a set of games be discounted, call them "used", and do it that way. With a set amount of digital units they can sell based on how many have been traded in.

Basically, it seems to just be a way to sell to more people. You can sell the games full-price to people who buy full price, and you can sell not full-price to people who don't/can't afford it/are cheap bastards.

That's how I'd do it at least, if I was this crazy.

But that means no more steam sales since steam sales are supposed to compemsate for a lack of used sales.

Thats brave of them.

If they manage to create this system, the publishers are going to be wanting royalties if Gamestop wants it to work. Assuming they even want in when the likes of Steam and D2D is much better than anything Gamestop has in every respect.

And because such a system would only grant users store credit, it would likely turn into a money sink for Gamestop. Users use store credit to buy new games, not money, every time a copy sells, publishers might have to be paid off.

And im simply not clued up to the legal aspects of such a system. I assume there would be some obstacles there.

rolfwesselius:

Irridium:

MetallicaRulez0:

Seriously.

How would this even work? I buy a digital game and then... you buy it off of me when I get tired of it? But... how? Why? What's the difference between a regular digital game and a "used" digital game? I don't understand!

Someone with lower IQ than me please explain this to me. My intelligence is holding me back this time.

I'm aware of what "used" means, but why in the hell does anyone need this? A digital copy is a digital copy, why would one be less expensive? It costs exactly the same for GameStop, unless I'm simply not understanding this right.

They'll probably just have a set of games be discounted, call them "used", and do it that way. With a set amount of digital units they can sell based on how many have been traded in.

Basically, it seems to just be a way to sell to more people. You can sell the games full-price to people who buy full price, and you can sell not full-price to people who don't/can't afford it/are cheap bastards.

That's how I'd do it at least, if I was this crazy.

But that means no more steam sales since steam sales are supposed to compemsate for a lack of used sales.

I really doubt Gamestop will sell games for $5 and under, like Steam does. With Gamestop, used games are only $5 cheaper.

Steam sales will still exist, since they charge far, far less than that.

Why would a Digital Distribution system need Game Stop for this?

if this happens the publisher/developers won't get any money from their digital games. They have fight back force gamestop to give them a nice cut in profits and same can be said about physically copies of games as well

Fappy:
The weird thing about 2nd-hand digital copies is that, well... what sets them apart from 1st-hand digital copies?

Viruses lots and lots of viruses...

No, in all seriousness the only way I can see this working is with a code like system. You sell game codes attached to your account and you can't use play that game any more.

And you know what, this will work. As long as someone is offering a legal cheaper way of buying something someone will buy it.

There are still only three ways this can go:
Either...
A: Gamestop doesn't give publishers a percentage on used sales (As they currently don't) and enough used games are in circulation to ensure that after a month or the number of new copies purchased drop drastically. Any game more than a year old basically becomes a source of zero profit for the game dev because digital copies are never lost, damaged, or stolen and take up zero 'shelf space' because a website has an amount of 'shelf space' that's practically limitless. Since we're transferring digital licenses anyways, that effectively means DLC is equally resaleable.

B: Same as A, but not enough used games make it into circulation. In this case, it's just a flash sale for whoever happens to be lucky enough to nab one of the few copies while they're available.

C: Game Stop is forced to give publishers a cut of the used digital sales. In this case, there is no profit for them in selling used digital games because then they become identical to new games from both the consumer's point of view and the seller's point of view.

Since they're partnering with Valve here, situation A also has the side effect of massively hurting Steam, because no dev in their right mind would offer a game to Steam given that a title like Bastion that is amazingly fun but without much replay value will be available in sufficient supply after the end of week one, and if they decided to go to another digital platform instead many would follow.

Falterfire:
The difference is that Steam sends a hefty percentage (70%?) to the publishers. Game Stop used games don't.

I was joking with a friend during the Steam sale that they must have extra hard drives full of Saints Row: The Third in boxes since it kept going on sale. I didn't think anybody would actually try to treat digital games as though they worked like that.

Comparing Steam to Gamestop used is stupid. Gamestop sells NEW digital games right now and I'll bet they also send 70% to the publishers.

Now, if Steam were selling used games, then you could compare it to Gamestop's used games.

Look folks, everyone seems to be scratching their head about how this could work. The simplest method would be that you buy a digital game new from Gamestop and then sell it back to them. There would be a finite number of used copies available because the product key would be transferred from you to Gamestop to the new customer. Once there are no more used product keys, there are no more used copies.

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